by Moses Adeyemi
Incumbent Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose looks like the real candidate for the elections tomorrow (Saturday) against former Minister of Steel, Mr kayode Fayemi and both of them can be compared to the Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi of Ekiti State.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have dominated football for the past 11 years while Governor Peter Fayose and Dr. Fayemi have dominated Ekiti state for the past 16years.
Whether we like it or not, many of the supporters of APC and PDP see the forthcoming political contest in Ekiti as another opportunity to settle the rivalry between Fayemi and Fayose. Depending on how you see it, the two political leaders are set to make a definitive point about their influence.
The big question remains who wears the crown? Let’s take a bit look at there political rivalry and where it all started from.
Dr. Kayode Fayemi was born on February 9 , 1965 he has a degree in History from the University of Lagos ; Master of Science in International Relations from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University); and Doctor of Philosophy in War Studies.
He is a former Director of the Centre for Democracy & Development, a research and training institution and was reportedly instrumental to the founding and management of the opposition radio stations Radio Freedom, Radio Democracy International & Radio Kudirat – during the dark days of some military regimes in Nigeria.
During his time as governor, Fayemi said he would make poverty alleviation, education and health care central to his programme. His administration launched an eight-point agenda, which included governance, infrastructural development, modernising agriculture, education and human capital development, and healthcare services.
But by the time he left office, he was openly criticised by some indigenes of the state for allegedly being too distant from his people and the grass roots. His construction of a new government house, in a state considered to be one of the poorest in the country, did more harm than good for his image and his re-election bid at the time. The Ekiti State Government House sits on the historical Ayoba Hill and reportedly cost about N3 bn.
Governor Peter Ayodele Fayose was born on 13 November, 1960. Fayose grew up in Ibadan, Oyo State where he attended Olivet Baptist High School, Oyo.
In 1998, Fayose began to build the People Democratic Party (PDP) of Ekiti State chapter from scratch, Fayose was governor of Ekiti State from 29 May 2003 to 16 October 2006.
Peter Ayodele Fayose was the PDP flag bearer in the 2014 Governorship election in Ekiti State slated for June 21, 2014. He won the election and was declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission as the new Governor-Elect, Ekiti State, he was inaugurated on Oct 16, 2014.
Governor Fayose will definitely not be contesting the real contender is Professor Eleka ,his emergence as the candidate of PDP was not without fierce political intrigues. Many have argued that Fayose practically forced his number two man on the party contrary to the wishes of many PDP top players. The highlight of the intrigues that brought Eleka into the governorship race as a candidate is the exit of former Minister, Dayo Adeyeye, from the ruling party.
The 49 year old university don is from Ikere-Ekiti. Until his election as Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Eleka was a teacher in the Department of Building, Obafemi Awolowo University, where he had lectured for 24 years. His research interests are mainly in the field of Alternative Building Materials Development for Housing Construction, Construction Technology and Structural Mechanics.
On several occasions , Fayose has described Eleka as integral to the success story the state recorded in the education sector , moving from 34 th position under the immediate past administration to 11 th in 2016 .
For emphasis sake Ekiti is the only South -West state that is not controlled by Nigeria ’s ruling party , the All Progressives Congress . It is controlled by the Peoples Democratic Party, the former ruling party and as the general elections approach , it is expected that the APC will want to use Ekiti State to strengthen its chances ahead of the presidential election.
The big question is can Professor Eleka win the election? Will Fayemi lose the election and return back to his safe appointment at the Federal level? How will this shape the 2019 election?
Let me briefly answer how it will shape the 2019 election, one way is that Nigerians in the country and all over the world will see the reality of the current situation and will start the thinking process of the party to follow or vote for during the 2019 elections.
Secondly, the international community are watching and will follow the ekiti state election closely to also make them determine what they will do and how they will work with INEC in 2019.
The election promise to be interesting and intriguing, I will be back with the full gist.